North Korea fires two short-range missiles into eastern sea, South Korea says


People watch a TV showing a file picture for a news report on North Korea firing two unidentified projectiles, in Seoul, South Korea, March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Heo Ran TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea fired two short-range missiles off the east coast into the sea on Monday, resuming testing after a three-month pause, South Korea’s military said.

The missiles were launched from the eastern coastal city of Wonsan and flew 240 km (149 miles) and reached 35 km in altitude, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said. North Korea has launched a series of missiles from the area in the past.

The North appears to be continuing a firing drill that leader Kim Jong Un oversaw last Friday, JCS said.

Monday’s launch was the first since North Korea fired what it called “super-large multiple rocket launchers” on Nov. 28.

South Korea’s presidential Blue House said national security adviser Chung Eui-yong held an emergency video conference with ministers of related agencies to analyze the latest test.

“The ministers expressed strong concern over North Korea’s resumption of short-range missile launches in three months,” the Blue House said in a statement. “Such actions are unhelpful for efforts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and they urged North Korea to stop them.”

JCS said it is monitoring for potential additional launches.

South Korea and the United States indefinitely decided to postpone joint military drills amid a growing coronavirus outbreak in South Korea that has now infected soldiers from both countries.

South Korea on Monday reported 476 new coronavirus cases, taking its tally to 4,212.

Reporting by Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Kim Coghill

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